There's No Getting Away With Murder
Based on a true story, Perfect Sisters stars Georgie Henley and Academy Award Nominee Abigail Breslin, as two sisters (Sandra and Beth) that have to raise each other, and their brother, while their mother struggles with substance abuse. What makes this a horror film is that the sisters eventually get themselves into trouble, when their plan to kill their mother gets out of hand.
What is interesting about this plot to kill their mother, around which the film pivots, is that it actually happens. No one initially suspects the girls because it’s considered fairly common knowledge that the mother was eventually going to pass away from alcohol poisoning.
After their mom’s death, the girls tell everyone they know that they’ve killed their mother, and, ironically, everyone shrugs it off. For a while, the people in the community seem to believe the girls are joking. But this aloofness, and people thinking the sisters are making it up, doesn’t last long. Once the girls tell their oldest friend, he suspects that they’ve committed the crime and goes through with calling the cops. And, once the word is out, the girls must confess that they have, in fact, killed their mother by drowning her in the bathtub.
The acting in the truth-telling scene is tremendous, in my opinion. Abigail Breslin really shows that she has Academy Award-worthy acting skills, when she breaks down while telling the police about killing her mother. Overall, I’d say the acting from both of the sisters is tremendous, and it makes this movie one of my favorite horror films to date.
Adding to the overall gruesomeness of the tale, is the fact that the movie is based on a true story. According to an article by Bustle, the film is based on the book The Class Project: How to Kill a Mother by veteran Toronto Star journalist Bob Mitchell. Mitchell covered the “Bathtub Girls’” ongoing trial, as they came to be known in the media, according to the Toronto Star’s review of the film. The Star further explained that the girls were fifteen and sixteen years old at the time of the crime in 2003, so they could never be named when reporting on the murder of their mother Linda Andersen, who the girls drowned in the family bathtub after plying her with liquor and Tylenol-3.
Initially, The Star reported that the girls got away with murder and more than $100,000.00 in insurance money. But, the sisters callously bragged about the murder at school, leading to their eventual conviction. The Star’s review criticizes the movie for its portrayal of the murderers as victims themselves, and says that the murder scene was “far less gruesome than courtroom testimony and trial reports suggested.”
Lastly, here are some facts about the real “Bathtub Girls”…
According to Variety, the real-life Sandra and Beth are controversial figures in Canada, as their 10-year sentences were considered over in 2016. The sisters have even gone on to attend college on scholarships. According to a 2014 article in The Star, the older sister spent three years in jail, before being released to a halfway house in 2009, and she has been studying engineering. The younger sister was released in 2010 and is now a married mother, who was reported as having started law school in 2014.
Check out the movie clips trailer for “Perfect Sisters” (2014).